August 11th, 2021


I woke up at 2:00 A.M. this morning for no apparent reason. It really sucks because I wake up then some of life’s bullshit starts flowing through my head and I cannot get it to stop. I lie awake for hours and finally just say “f- it” and get up since it’s pointless to wish for sleep while knowing it’s not gonna happen. It’s frustrating and it’s annoying.

I wasn’t going to let that stop the fun so an epic road trip on Route 66 was on the agenda. The weather was beautiful but warm. I went back to Strafford, MO and took the reroute into Springfield. Honestly it was a waste of time. Nothing but driving through a sketchy part of town seeing a bunch of rundown dumpy buildings that were not original from back in the day. I ended up turning south on MO 13 to go back down to the other Route 66 west out of downtown.

I strongly suggest this other (original) route south out of Strafford into Springfield I mentioned in my post last week. Much more to see but my understanding is that downtown is best seen from the car and not on foot, especially after dark. The northern route is no exception and nothing to waste your time on.

I drove all the way to Joplin, MO and saw many things along the way:

Downtown Joplin had some sketchy places as well. There were also some really interesting things to see. I came in from the north onto Main Street but didn’t stop as the Route was not marked very well past a certain point (confusingly marked “Missouri 66”) and I was trying to get farther.

I decided to just head south to I-44 and go east. It was a bit odd driving 70 again after being on 66 all day up to that point; it’s really narrow in a few places so 55 was pushing it with oncoming traffic.

I got to the exit and turned toward Galena, KS. This town did not disappoint with Route 66 history and memorabilia and is very well worth the short detour off the underwhelming boredom of the interstate. I was heading west out of town towards Oklahoma to see some other sites but decided to turn around before Baxter Springs, KS and return to Galena.

If you have seen the movie “Cars” you will really enjoy Galena. There are several things here that are associated with inspiration for the movie.

I parked walked around town a bit but it was too hot to be out too long. But I got this picture:

The wise old car voiced in the movie by Paul Newman

I started heading back north through town and it really has a historic feel. I stopped at the “Cars on the Route” shop in an old gas station on the corner where 66 turns so I could get a few pictures and ended up going inside for a couple of souvenirs. I ended ip getting a great conversation out of the deal at no extra charge!

The lady there was so nice and told me about some history. She’s a lifelong resident so she knew what the lowdown was. She told me that the city had ordinances in place that none of the buildings can be torn down – they have to be saved no matter. She provided me the info on the next few pictures.

Right across 66 to the east is this building and it was the inspiration for the Radiator Springs auto shop
Across Route 66 on the north side is this house. It was originally a brothel for the miners and was in business for 40 years. Forty Years! She said it was about to fall over so they hooked a truck up to it and pulled the building over three feet to get it back level and restore it. It’s also haunted.

This place is a must-see so take some time and stop since you’re already in town. Please be sure to buy something or at least make a donation for the cause; they almost had to close it down until volunteers stepped up to man the desk. Anything helps!

I went back north out of town towards the Missouri state line. As I left Galena there were a few more pictures I needed to get:

I followed 66 on out of town and it actually crossed the point where I had lost the Route in Joplin on Main St. earlier in the day. I had come full circle! I had just driven all of Route 66 from Strafford, MO to Galena, KS and saw a lot of cool things along the way; it was roughly 100 miles just on The Mother road today and I’m not even tired yet.

I had a fantastic day doing it.

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